In memoriam: Dr. John Grace

Dr. John Grace, 1943-2021
Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies, 1990-96


With his family, friends, and his many colleagues and former mentees across the world, the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies dean’s office mourns the loss of Dr. John Grace, the Dean of this Faculty from 1990-96. Dr. Grace was a renowned scholar in the field of chemical engineering, and contributed substantially to the development of cleaner technologies for industrial processes and energy production. Among many honours, he received the Order of Canada in 2014, and for his outstanding mentorship of over 160 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, he was awarded the UBC Killam Award for Excellence in Mentoring in 2010.

As Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, Dr. Grace was instrumental in establishing UBC’s two graduate colleges, Green College and St. John’s College, and a large number of new interdisciplinary units, which were then under the oversight of the Faculty. He was a lifelong, passionate, advocate for and supporter of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, and through many of the initiatives under his leadership, he demonstrated a profound commitment to excellence, interdisciplinarity, equity, and inclusion within the graduate education enterprise.

Dr. Grace was widely seen as an exceptionally decent man, with enormous integrity. He will be greatly missed.

For those wishing to donate in honor of his memory, the Grace family has asked that in lieu of flowers or other gifts a donation be made to the John Grace Graduate Scholarship in Chemical and Biological Engineering, which has been endowed in honor of Dr. John Grace by his wife, Dr. Sherrill E. Grace, for graduate students in Chemical and Biological Engineering who demonstrate academic excellence and potential for service to society by performing research on energy, the environment, and/or multi-phase systems.  Financial donations to support this scholarship in John’s name can be made at

Tuesday, 08 June 2021